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Greenwich science students continue winning ways at STEM fair


  • Malika Amoruso, a junior at Sacred Heart Greenwich, won first place and earned the Naval Science Award in the environmental research proposal category at the CT STEM fair Naval Science Award for her project, which uses enhanced graphene oxide to purify drinking water. Fifteen Greenwich High School and Sacred Heart students placed in a variety of categories at the science fair over the weekend. Photo: Contributed /

    Malika Amoruso, a junior at Sacred Heart Greenwich, won first place and earned the Naval Science Award in the environmental research proposal category at the CT STEM fair Naval Science Award for her project, which uses enhanced graphene oxide to purify drinking water. Fifteen Greenwich High School and Sacred Heart students placed in a variety of categories at the science fair over the weekend.

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    Malika Amoruso, a junior at Sacred Heart Greenwich, won first place and earned the Naval Science Award in the environmental research proposal category at the CT STEM fair Naval Science Award for her project,

    … more


    Photo: Contributed /

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Malika Amoruso, a junior at Sacred Heart Greenwich, won first place and earned the Naval Science Award in the environmental research proposal category at the CT STEM fair Naval Science Award for her project, which uses enhanced graphene oxide to purify drinking water. Fifteen Greenwich High School and Sacred Heart students placed in a variety of categories at the science fair over the weekend.

less

Malika Amoruso, a junior at Sacred Heart Greenwich, won first place and earned the Naval Science Award in the environmental research proposal category at the CT STEM fair Naval Science Award for her project,

… more



Photo: Contributed /


GREENWICH — Fifteen students from Greenwich High School and Sacred Heart Greenwich won awards for their science project proposals and completed projects at the regional Connecticut STEM fair over the weekend.

Students from 15 schools showcased and presented 188 projects at Amity Regional High School on Saturday. Six individuals and groups representing Sacred Heart and four students from Greenwich High School took home awards for various categories, including research proposals and completed projects in environmental, behavioral and physical sciences.


Two GHS students — seniors Nicholas Liu and Alex Kosyakov — will advance to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest international precollege science competition, in Arizona this spring.





Liu’s invention turns any smartphone into a device that tests water for E. coli. Users download his design for a spectrometer they can 3D print and attach to their phones, install apps he coded for both Apple and Android smartphones, and for pennies on the dollar, can check contaminated water and share their results globally.

“I think that’s the immediate, amazing part of this,” said his teacher, Andy Bramante. “It’s not about the money, it’s about getting it to people who need it the most.”

Kosyakov developed a sodium battery with solid electrolytes that charges safely and improves upon the current lithium batteries with liquid electrolytes, which are prone to explosions when over-charged.

“His battery is solid, safer and more durable,” Bramante said.

For her first science fair, Sacred Heart junior Malika Amoruso presented her proposal to research a way to filter out arsenic, lead and chromium-6 from drinking water using a material called graphene oxide.

“It was a bit of a whirlwind,” Amoruso said in an email. “Despite initial nerves, I really enjoyed presenting my proposal to the judges, as it enabled me to speak about a field of science that I am passionate about.”

She enjoyed asking the judges about their scientific backgrounds and hearing from the keynote speaker, a renowned researcher in genetics and developmental biology.

“When my name was called for first place in the environmental proposals category, I was astounded,” Amoruso said. “I had no expectations of placing at all and went into the experience just hoping to share my excitement about my topic with anyone who wanted to listen.”


She plans to submit develop prototypes to the 2020 fair.

Junior Caroline Badagliacca studied how music helps alleviate the day-to-day symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia by releasing chemicals that stimulate memory and allow patients reconnect to the world around them, she said.

“It was great to be able to discuss my work with the judges who asked challenging questions,” she said.

Badagliacca plans to research this summer at Brown University, and hopes to enter her completed research in the STEM Fair next year.

Greenwich High students won other awards, including:

* Liu received the Ricoh Sustainable Development Award Presented for his smartphone device.

* Senior Verna Yin received the Stockholm Junior Water Prize Award for her inexpensive water filter using used coffee grounds and sponges.

* Senior Hannah Goldenberg received the U.S. Air Force Award for her work establishing correlation between e-cigarette use and the lung disease chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Kosyakov also received the award.

Sacred Heart students won other awards, including:

* Freshmen Abigail Barnett, Alex Hartnett and Annie O’Connor, who won first place for their team research proposal that would determine the prevalence of microplastics in sand next to sea turtle nests and testing a remediation plan.

* Juniors Eliza Stanley and Alice Adams, who earned third place for their completed project testing the optimum delivery method of plant probiotics.

* Sophomore Piper Gilbert who earned the Naval Science Award for her research on the effect of simulated martian soil on the growth rates of plants.

* Seniors Emma Belmont, Caroline Conrod and Claire Liddy, who earned second place for their completed project testing alternative fertilizers to reduce hypoxia in the Long Island Sound.

The list of awards can be found at ctstemfoundation.org.


jo.kroeker@hearstmediact.com